Key Highlights of National Education Policy (NEP)

The NEP (National Education Policy) 2020 was a watershed moment for the Indian education system. The Education Policy of India was revised after three decades and replaced the Education Policy of 1986 i.e. after 34 years. This is the nation's third education policy since independence, and it represents a significant advancement for the Indian educational system because it makes several changes to the current curriculum that will improve the quality of education provided to the children of our nation ensuring equitable access to education at all levels from preschool to secondary. 

Last updated: 28 Mar 2024

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Some of the new suggestions of the NEP include providing infrastructure support, creating innovative education center to reintegrate dropouts into the mainstream, tracking students and their learning levels, providing multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes, partnering with schools to employ counsellors or trained social workers, offering open learning for classes 3, 5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, adult literacy courses, and life-enrichment programs.

On July 29, 2020, the National Education Policy 2020 was unveiled. Several changes to higher education, including technical education, are suggested by the National Education Policy 2020. The National Education Policy 2020 mentions several initiatives and action items that should be implemented in both higher education and schools.

Key Highlights of NEP 2020

  1. The new policy seeks to achieve 100% GER in school education from preschool to secondary level by 2030.
  2. NEP 2020 aims to reintegrate 2 crore out-of-school children back to the mainstream.
  3. A new 5+3+3+4 school curriculum that includes 3 years of Anganwadi/preschool and 12 years of formal education.
  4. A strong focus on foundational literacy and numeracy; there is no strict division in schools between academic, extracurricular, and vocational programs; class 6 is where vocational education begins, along with internships.
  5. Teaching in mother tongue or a regional language up to at least Grade 5.
  6. A 360-degree Holistic Progress Card that tracks student progress toward meeting learning objectives is part of the assessment reforms.
  7. 3.5 crore additional seats in higher education; GER to be increased to 50% by 2035 Higher Education curriculum to have Flexibility of Subjects.
  8. Several entries and exits are permitted with the proper certification.
  9. To enable the Transfer of Credits, an Academic Bank of Credits will be formed.
  10. To promote a robust research culture, the National Research Foundation will be founded.
  11. There is only one regulator for higher education, with four different verticals for different functions; the regulations are light yet rigorous. In 15 years, the Affiliation System will be phased down, giving colleges varying degrees of autonomy.
  12. The National Educational Technology Forum will be established; NEP 2020 promotes greater use of technology with fairness.
  13. NEP 2020 places a strong emphasis on creating Special Education Zones and a Gender Inclusion Fund for underprivileged areas and populations.
  14. A new policy encourages multilingualism in higher education and in schools; an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation and a National Institute for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit will be established.

Here are the Salient Features of the NEP 2020

  • National Education Policy 2020: School Education
  • Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education
  • Early Childhood Care & Education with New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure
  • Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
  • Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy
  • Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade and will include internships
  • Multilingualism and the power of language
  • Assessment Reforms
  • Equitable and Inclusive Education
  • Robust Teacher Recruitment and Career Path
  • School Governance

 National Education Policy 2020: Higher Education

  • Holistic Multidisciplinary Education
  • The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education.
  • Rationalized Institutional Architecture
  • Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty
  • Teacher Education
  • Mentoring Mission
  • Financial support for students
  • Open and Distance Learning
  • Online Education and Digital Education
  • Technology in education
  • Promotion of Indian languages
  • Professional Education
  • Adult Education
  • Financing Education

Cons of NEP

  • Creating study material in all the regional languages can be a daunting task. 
  • The four-year course duration can be challenging. So there are probabilities that students might drop out of the course mid-way.
  • The transition from a regional medium to an English medium can act as a double-edged sword. For e.g., let's take the current education system. The students who have completed their education in their regional language find it difficult to adjust to the English medium schools.
  • Though India has been talking about digital India for a few years still it has not been implemented completely, especially in the rural areas. Therefore giving more importance to technology might act as a barrier for the educators from the rural areas. 

Pros of NEP

  • Learning opportunities are multiplied. The line between arts, science, and commerce has been blurred. 
  • The scope of learning different subjects has been widened. 
  • Importance has been given to ancient Indian history so that students are intact to their roots
  • The rate of school dropout will reduce compared to the present education system. 
  • The digital mode of teaching will allow the students to experience the most technologically advanced classroom teaching.   

The Bottom Lines

The New Education Policy is unquestionably a much-needed positive step. Having formulated a forward-looking policy, it must be executed flawlessly. If implemented properly, it can provide the reform that the Indian education system needs.

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